A couple of weeks ago we went to Vevolution festival to pitch Optiat at the Pitch + Plant Dragons’ Den Competition. We were one of six finalists chosen to present our brand for the chance to win £1500 investment and mentorship from BRAN Investments.
There were 29 initial applications received from plant-based entrepreneurs from all across the UK and we are told the competition was fierce from the start! So we were thrilled to have been selected by BRAN Investments as one of the finalists.
We made our pitches to a panel of plant-based dragons comprising of Laura Way (Votch), Derek Sarno (Wicked Healthy and Tesco) Ram Goyal (BRAN Investments), Loui Blake (Tribe Creative) and Jonathan Petrides (allplants). They weren’t quite as intimidating as the dragons on TV, but we were pretty nervous nonetheless!
The room the event was held in was completely full, with lots of people stood at the back and down the aisles surrounding the occupied seating! We were second, after a very strong opening pitch by Renee of La Cremerie. The standard of each and every pitch was incredibly high and the questions thrown at us all by the dragons were really testing!
We spoke about our mission, our products, our origins and our hopes for the future - All wrapped up into a five minute whirlwind!! It was a real exercise in bullet pointing the last two years of extremely hard work that myself, William and our extended Optiat team have put in!
It was great to share stories and inspiration from other individuals who had had the courage to go it alone and start their own businesses from an initial passion for their concept or product. What was really wonderful to see was that each brand and team behind those brands had achieved so much in relatively short periods of time - it’s a clear demonstration that there is a lot of growth and interest in all things vegan at the moment.
We all gathered after the event was over to hear the announcement of which of us had been selected as the winner. It was a complete honour that the chosen brand was us. I’ve never held a giant cheque before so that was a huge life goal box that I could put a tick into!! In all seriousness it was a wonderful feeling and a real vote of confidence.
We are over the moon and so grateful to the panel of dragons, BRAN Investments and Vevolution festival for allowing us to be a part of this event and for choosing us as the winners!!
What a fantastic end to 2017!